A Braodway playwright wants to keep on writing plays for his wife to star in, but all she wants is to retire to Connecticut and, following a few 'worlds-apart" discussion of the issue, they get a divorce. The actress marries a banker in a fit of pique only to quickly discover the divorce was not valid. She communicates this information to her not-yet ex-husband and he, to prevent consummation of the invalid marriage rescues her by sending plumbers, waiters, porters, chambermaids, bellhops, desk clerks, exterminators and, finally, a crowd of roistering conventioneers to the suite to ensure no bedtime story would take place there. Written by
Les Adams <email@example.com>
After a night at a roadside gas station and motel, Mr. Drake (Fredric March) asks Mrs. Drake (Loretta Young) to pay for her room. She says that she's out of cash, so she'll have to use her credit card. The use of the term "credit card" in this 1941 movie is curious. The first use of the term "credit card" is attributed to Edward Bellamy in his 1887 utopian novel, 'Looking Backward', but the first actual credit card (not to be confused with a single-vendor "charge card" issued by department stores, airlines, and the like) didn't come along until the Diners Club card was introduced in 1950. However, gas stations were beginning to accept each others' charge cards in the 1930s. Obviously, the terms were being used interchangeably even before the likes of Diners Club, Carte Blanche, American Express, and various bank-issued credit cards appeared on the scene. See more »
[last lines, at the end of the play's premiere]
It's a smash hit, Eddie -- it'll run five years!
Ladies and gentlemen! This will have the shortest run of any of Mr. Drake's plays...
[gasps from audience]
No, no, no. Five years!
It will be closed in the early spring by an act of God. And I'm sure Mr. Drake hopes it will be... a boy.
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All the previous commenters are right: you'll find some things to like here. Exactly which things they are will depend on what you're hoping for. I think Fredric March is terrific as Luke, for the same reason other folks didn't enjoy him so much -- he's not what you're expecting, perhaps because his buttoned-down good looks make a great foil for his deviousness. Here, in mid-career, March's role is the kind Harrison Ford occasionally takes to lighten up. Benchley's Benchley (that's a plus) and Eve Arden has a great turn as an actress who must absorb withering directorial scorn for no good reason. Loretta Young is where this potentially fizzy movie goes flat in spots. She's ladylike to a fault.
After I saw this movie on TCM I decided it must've been written as a Powell-Loy vehicle -- theirs is the kind of chemistry that would've put more zip in this script. But March's performance is a treat.
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